Ready to be the man

Q & A-- Bruce Richardson, Glenelg, Basketball

December 19, 2007|By Glenn Graham | Glenn Graham,Sun reporter

After averaging just under 10 points a game last year in his second varsity season, Glenelg 6-foot-3 senior forward Bruce Richardson is ready to be the man for the Gladiators.

A team captain who leads by example, Richardson is well aware that he is responsible for providing much of the team's scoring and rebounding.

He is averaging 16 points, 5.5 rebounds and two assists and steals per game this season.

Richardson decided to play football this fall and finished the season with a team-high seven sacks at defensive end.

With a 3.3 grade point average, Richardson, who is undecided on a college, wants to study criminal justice or anthropology.

He is the oldest of nine siblings, with four brothers and his only sister living with him and his mother, and three other brothers living with his father in Atlanta.

What is the key to having a successful season?

We have to play together as a team. When we do that, we're pretty good.

When we're fresh, we play together as a team, do what we're supposed to do, do what the coach says, then we can give anybody competition.

Definitely this year in the county, there isn't as much star power as there was last year. No team really sticks out - it's anybody's league this year.

How can last year's strong finish help this year's team?

It says it's all right there in front of us.

The key to last year was we started playing together on offense and defense. If we can get to that point where everybody is doing what they're capable of doing consistently to the best of their abilities, we'll be right there.

If we can get it to that point a little earlier in the season, we can kind of make a name for ourselves.

Why did you decide to go out for the football team in your senior year?

My dad played college football. He loves football, and he wanted me to play all my life, but I never really wanted to.

I also went out for football to get tougher in basketball.

Football is a pretty physical sport, and I wanted to be used to that contact all the time, especially when you're playing down low in the box.

What was the toughest adjustment playing football for the first time?

It was kind of hard adjusting to all the contact. I knew it was going to be the most physical thing I've ever done in my life.

The toughest part was practicing before the season and getting it all together. Being a new player, I had to prove myself. I went from third string to the first string in about a week.

So I was out there with the scout team, then the first team and never got a break away from practice.

And then there was all the pushing around by the lineman - I got knocked on my behind a couple of times.

Just adjusting to all that and finding my place on the field, that was the hardest part for me.

What was it like getting your first sack during the football season?

My first sack was crazy. It was an immediate adrenaline rush coming through the line and realizing that I got him.

After I got the first sack, the next play I got another one, and then the play right after that, I hit the quarterback and he fumbled.

Once I got that first sack - that was it - my confidence level just went through the roof, and I got it together.

What's the best advice you have ever received?

It probably came from my dad last year. We had lost like five games in a row. He got on the phone with me and asked if I had dunked the ball at all this year. I said, "No," and he said the moment I dunked the ball, your team would get fired up and you'll win the game.

The next game was against Hammond. I got my first two dunks and we beat them pretty good. That was like the last game in January, and after that it really set the tone.

We came out and won like four straight games. I got maybe three dunks in those four games. I just took it to heart - if you dunk it, it gets the team fired up.

How do you get ready for a game?

I just like sitting in the corner and listening to my iPod. Music gets me going. I play a lot of up-tempo rap kind of stuff. I just sit there and it takes my mind off everything. I get into the music, and it gets me ready.

What was the best Christmas gift you ever gave?

I gave my little brother a football when he was probably 8 years old.

He loves football and just went crazy. The football is all worn down now because we've played with it so much.

But when he first opened up the wrapping and looked at it, he was like, "Wow." He couldn't wait to go out with it. It was neat to see.

What was the best Christmas gift you ever received?

A couple years ago, I got a basketball that has my name and number engraved on it. It's a real nice basketball. It's still sitting up in my room in the box. I haven't taken it out.

What are some responsibilities that come with being the oldest sibling?

Being the oldest, my parents talk to me a lot about having to set a good example. I can't mess around in school. I have to do my responsibilities because if I don't do what I'm supposed to do, my little brothers aren't going to do it later. I like spending time with them.

What's it like having your own cheering section?

My mom drags all of them out there. When Coach calls a timeout, I take a quick look over and see them running all over the bleachers. It's great to see.

glenn.graham@baltsun.com

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